Russian Culture

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures offers a minor in Russian Culture. Students desiring to major with an emphasis in Russian language, literature, or culture should see the requirements for the major track in Russian/East European/Eurasian Cultures offered under the Slavic Languages and Literatures major.

Heritage Speakers of Russian

Heritage speakers include those who grew up in Russian-speaking families but are without a standard Russian language educational background. Heritage speakers may select any major or minor track offered by the department except the minor in Russian Language. The unit requirements are the same for all majors and minors. However, the balance between courses approved for and taken in language and literature/culture may change depending on each student’s language proficiency. The choice of specific courses in language and literature/culture for any respective major or minor track will be determined on an individual basis by the heritage program adviser, Anna Muza, Before enrolling in language courses and declaring a major or minor, heritage speakers are required to take a proficiency/placement test.

Declaring the Minor

Students considering a minor track involving language requirements must see the undergraduate student services adviser early on to have to have their minor study list plan reviewed and approved; referral for language proficiency screening and placement for heritage or native speakers is required. Final approval for a minor rests with the major adviser. The paperwork for the minor, called an L&S Confirmation of Minor form, is completed with the undergraduate student services adviser no later than the semester before the student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT).

Other Minors offered by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Armenian Studies (Minor only)
East European/Eurasian Languages and/or Cultures (Minor Only)
Russian Language (Minor only)
Russian Literature (Minor only)
Slavic Languages and Literatures (Major only)

Visit Department Website

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but they are not noted on diplomas.

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the semester before EGT is fall or spring, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If the semester before EGT is summer, the deadline is the final Friday of Summer Sessions. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process.
  2. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.
  3. A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
  4. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
  5. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.
  6. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
  7. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which the student plans to graduate. Students who cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time should see a College of Letters & Science adviser.
  8. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)


Lower Division Prerequisites 1
RUSSIAN 1Elementary Russian5
RUSSIAN 2Elementary Russian5
RUSSIAN 3Intermediate Russian5
RUSSIAN 4Intermediate Russian5
Upper Division Requirements
Select five upper division courses in Russian language and/or Russian and other Slavic literatures and cultures 2
RUSSIAN 103AAdvanced Russian4
RUSSIAN 103BAdvanced Russian4
RUSSIAN 105AAdvanced Russian/English/Russian Translation3
RUSSIAN 106AAdvanced Russian for Heritage Speakers3
RUSSIAN 120AAdvanced Russian Conversation and Communication2-3
RUSSIAN 120BAdvanced Russian Conversation and Communication2-3
SLAVIC 131Literature, Art, and Society in 20th-Century Russia4
SLAVIC 132Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and the English Novel4
SLAVIC 133The Novel in Russia and the West4
SLAVIC 134AGogol4
SLAVIC 134CDostoevsky4
SLAVIC 134DTolstoy4
SLAVIC 134EChekhov4
SLAVIC 134FNabokov4
SLAVIC 134GTolstoy and Dostoevsky4
SLAVIC C134NRussia and Asia4
SLAVIC C137Introduction to Slavic Linguistics4
SLAVIC 138Topics in Russian and Soviet Film4
SLAVIC 139Post-Soviet Cultures4
SLAVIC 147AEast Slavic Folklore3
SLAVIC 181Readings in Russian Literature4
SLAVIC 182Pushkin4
SLAVIC 188Russian Prose4
SLAVIC 190Russian Culture Taught in Russian: Country, Identity, and Language4
SLAVIC 191Russian Culture and Language in the Contemporary World4

Russian heritage speakers should see the language placement approval instructions.


These courses may be chosen in any combination by the student, in consultation with the major adviser. A course from another related department may be substituted with approval of the major adviser.


The department provides programmatic and individual advising services to prospective and current students who are pursuing major and minor tracks. Advisers assist with a range of issues including course selection, academic decision-making, achieving personal and academic goals, and maximizing the Berkeley experience.

Students who are looking to explore their options or are ready to declare a major, double major, or minor should contact the undergraduate student services adviser.

Advising Staff and Hours

Amanda Minafo
6303 Dwinelle Hall
Book appointments here.


Select a subject to view courses:


Slavic Languages and Literatures

Faculty and Instructors

* Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.


* Lyubov (Luba) Golburt, Associate Professor. Pushkin, Russian literature and art of the 18th and 19th centuries, Derzhavin, Turgenev, history and literature, historical novel.
Research Profile

Darya Kavitskaya, Associate Professor. Phonological theory, opacity, contrast, Slavic phonology, phonetics/phonology interface, field linguistics (Slavic, Turkic, Uralic).
Research Profile

Eric Naiman, Professor. Sexuality, history, comparative literature, Slavic language, ideological poetics, history of medicine, Soviet culture, the gothic novel.
Research Profile

Anne Nesbet, Associate Professor. Culture, film studies, Slavic languages, early Soviet culture, Sergei Eisenstein, silent film, Soviet film, GDR history, children's literature and Stalinism, the Soviet Union, American minority movements.
Research Profile

Irina Paperno, Professor Emerita, Professor of the Graduate School, Advisory Committee Chair. Russian language and literature, intellectual history.
Research Profile

Djordje Popovic, Assistant Professor. Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav literature; Danilo Kiš; Dubravka Ugrešić; critical theory (Frankfurt School); intellectual history.
Research Profile

Harsha Ram, Associate Professor. Russian and European romanticism and modernism, Russian and European avant-gardes, Russian, European, Near Eastern and South Asian poetic traditions, Indian literature, Italian literature, Georgian history and literature, theories of world literature, literary theory, comparative poetics, genre theory, literary history, comparative modernisms and modernities, vernacular and high culture, cultural and political history of Russia-Eurasia and the Caucasus, postcolonial studies, theories of nationalism, imperialism and cosmopolitanism, the city and literature .
Research Profile

Edward Tyerman, Assistant Professor. Early Soviet culture, Soviet internationalism, cultural connections and exchanges between Russia and China, Russian and Soviet Orientalism, theories and experiences of post-socialism, politics and aesthetics, subjectivity and self-narration .
Research Profile


Myrna Douzjian, Lecturer.

* Ellen R. Langer, Continuing Lecturer.

Klara Libman, Lecturer.

Anna Muza, Senior Lecturer.

Antje Postema, Lecturer.

Eva Soos Szoke, Continuing Lecturer.

Katarzyna Zacha, Continuing Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Ronelle Alexander, Professor Emeritus, Professor of the Graduate School. Slavic languages and literatures, Balkan Slavic dialectology, Balkan linguistics, language contact, oral tradition, Parry-Lord theory of oral composition, South Slavic epic singers, issues of language and identity.
Research Profile

David A. Frick, Professor Emeritus. Slavic languages and literatures.
Research Profile

Joan Grossman, Professor Emeritus. Slavic languages and literatures, Russian symbolism and decadence viewed especially as a cultural process, questions of literary evolution, and Russian modernism .
Research Profile

Olga Hughes, Professor Emeritus. Slavic languages and literatures, literature and culture of the 20th century, Pasternak, Tsvetaeva, Remizov, autobiographical prose, history and literature of Russian emigration, Russian literary developments and cultural life of the early 20th century .
Research Profile

* Robert P. Hughes, Professor Emeritus. Critical theory, comparative literature, Slavic languages and literatures, Pushkin, Russian and European modernism, Russian poetry, Nabokov, Russian prose in the 1920s, Khodasevich's poetry, forms of autobiography, Andrei Belyi.
Research Profile

Olga Matich, Professor Emeritus, Professor of the Graduate School. Slavic languages and literatures, Russian symbolism and post-Stalin literature, women in Russian literature, Zinaida Gippius, Russian emigre literature, conceptualization of love in Russian culture, theory and practice of private life.
Research Profile

Johanna Nichols, Professor Emeritus. Slavic languages and literatures, Slavic languages, syntax, historical linguistics, typology, including historical typology, linguistic geography and areal linguistics, languages of northern Eurasia, particularly languages of the Caucasus.
Research Profile

Walter Schamschula, Professor Emeritus. Slavic languages and literatures, influences of cultural contacts on Czech literatures, especially Germanic, movement and migration of literary themes and topics in Europe, Czech cultural history and theory of literature, theory and practice of translation.
Research Profile

Alan Timberlake, Professor Emeritus. Slavic languages and literatures, descriptive grammar of Russian, chronicles.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

6303 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-2979

Fax: 510-642-6220

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Lyubov Golburt

Undergraduate Faculty Advisor

Darya Kavitskaya

6219 Dwinelle

Undergraduate Student Services Advisor

Amanda Minafo

6303 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-4661

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